100 Techniques

Technique #69: Make Pizza in a Skillet

Pizza at home doesn’t need to be a production. Just pull out your skillet.

Published Aug. 24, 2023.

This is Technique #69 from our 100 Techniques Every Home Cook Can Master

Each technique is broken into three sections: why it works, key steps, and recipes that use it. Learn these recipe building blocks and you'll be set up for a lifetime of cooking success.

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Prepared pizza, whether from a pizza parlor or restaurant (or even from the freezer), is a taken-for-granted convenience of modern life. The traditional use of a pizza peel and pizza stone to make pies at home is too time-consuming for everyday and can be intimidating for the home cook.

For other times, foolproof, from-scratch, crisp-crust, bubbly-top pizza is eminently achievable without the need for a pizza peel or stone, using two kitchen stalwarts you may never have considered for this job: a 12-inch skillet and a stovetop burner. Our thin-crust skillet pizza is easy enough to make anytime the craving strikes and tastes head-and-shoulders better than any takeout version—even if you start with store-bought dough.

Here's what you need to know about this technique.

Pull Out Your Skillet

How does this technique work? First off, you can use any ovensafe skillet, whether cast-iron, stainless steel, or nonstick; if using nonstick, make sure it is ovensafe up to 500 degrees. Start your skillet pizza on the stovetop. Pressing room temperature dough into an unheated skillet and placing it over medium-high heat jump-starts browning the bottom crust while the skillet simultaneously heats up. 

Unlike with a baking sheet, the thickness of the skillet causes it to retain heat better once preheated. So once in the oven, the preheated skillet functions in a similar manner as a pizza stone, providing even, high heat that delivers a crispy, well-browned bottom crust. (But you haven’t had to wait an hour for a pizza stone to preheat!)

Why the Skillet Method Achieves the Best Results

Since pizza dough (just like bread dough) rises due to the heat that surrounds it during cooking, the sides of the skillet assist in this. Meanwhile, the direct heat from above evenly melts the mozzarella, creating those golden cheesy bubbles we all crave. And as a bonus, the skillet method delivers a perfectly round pizza that looks like it came from the pizza parlor—but tastes so much better.

Watch Bridget and Julia made pizza in a cast iron skillet in the video above.

Step by Step: How To Make Pizza in a Skillet

It seems almost too good (or simple) to be true, but making pizza in your skillet at home can make homemade pizza easy, fun, and, most importantly, absolutely delicious. Now that you know the why behind this technique, take a look at the key steps.

Step 1: Mix and Knead 

Mix dough in food processor. Transfer to counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball.

Step 2: Let Rise 

Place dough in lightly greased large bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in size.

Step 3: Press and Add Toppings 

Press and roll dough into 11-inch round. Arrange dough in greased skillet, pressing gently into the corners. Add toppings.

Step 4: Cook 

Set skillet over medium-high heat and cook until outside edge of dough is set, pizza is lightly puffed, and bottom is spotty brown when lifted with spatula.

Step 5: Bake and Cool 

Transfer skillet to 500-degree oven and bake until edge of pizza is golden brown and cheese is melted. Let pizza cool in skillet slightly, then use spatula to slide pizza onto wire rack before cutting into wedges.

Equipment Review

The Best Cast-Iron Skillets

Artisan brands of American-made cast-iron cookware challenge the old guard.
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Recipes That Use This Technique

Now you know just how easily you can make a pizza in your skillet at home, it’s time to make those pizza party dreams a reality with these three recipes. Test out your new knowledge—and this ingenious method—and see just how simple it can be.


Skillet Pizza

Homemade pizza in just 30 minutes sounds like an impossibility. But with a little ingenuity, and a hot skillet, we accomplished the impossible.
Get the Recipe

Classic Pizza Dough

Getting crisp pizza crust from your oven can be a challenge, but with just a few tweaks and the right tools, you'll have homemade pizza that's miles better than offerings from the freezer case or the delivery guy.
Get the Recipe

Barbecued Chicken Skillet Pizza

Homemade pizza in just 30 minutes sounds like an impossibility. But with a little ingenuity, and a hot skillet, we accomplished the impossible.
Get the Recipe

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